Urgently Act to Achieve a Safe Climate
Human induced climate change represents the most significant problem facing this planet today. Its impacts will adversely affect all life and activity on earth. This is not something that’s going to happen sometime over the next century …as it’s happening right now!
Projected climate change impacts on Queensland are significant. The natural environment and our native wildlife will struggle to adapt. World Heritage sites, such as the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics may not survive. Rural, urban and coastal communities, primary producers and most industries will face severe consequences that will fundamentally alter the environmental conditions upon which we depend.
Climate change means a change in rainfall patterns across the State, a dramatic rise in average temperatures and more severe weather conditions. We face a future less safe and secure. Our challenge is to both mitigate and adapt to these changes, for the sake of the generations that will follow.
Reducing Greenhouse Emissions
Australia must adopt a greenhouse reduction target that equitably contributes to stabilising global atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions and then reduces these to pre-industrial levels (280-300 ppm) and as soon as possible. Queensland must contribute responsibly and proportionally to this national target.
The Queensland Government must establish a phase-out strategy for fossil fuel use and exports from Queensland, this includes:
- A ban on any proposed new or expanded coal mines
- A moratorium on any CSG operations until it is demonstrated that there are no adverse impacts on the environment
- A permanent ban on UCG, shale oil and coal-to-liquid operations
- Actions that reduce dependence and use of greenhouse-intense energy and processes (and significantly lower State emissions)
An annual progress report on emission reductions and identified support initiatives should be tabled in Parliament.
Clean Energy and Transport
Queensland should generate 100% of its energy requirements from renewable sources in the future. The Queensland Government should set a timeframe for the introduction of renewable energy capacity and strategically invest in renewable energy opportunities in the State.
We support specific targets for the uptake of solar, geothermal, wind, wave and other renewable energy sources with an initial target of achieving a 50% renewable energy target for the State within 20 years.
As part of achieving a 100% renewable target, the government must commit to no new coal-fired power stations and set a phase out date for coal-fired electricity generation in Queensland, shifting investment into renewables.
Prioritise public and sustainable transport investment by providing majority funding for alternatives to road infrastructure on a 2:1 basis. All transport developments must be prioritised towards modes with lower emissions per person per kilometre (or per tonne in the case of freight).
In SEQ, public and active transport must be prioritised so that active/public transport becomes the major transport mode by 2025.
Agriculture and vegetation management
Queensland Conservation Member Groups do not support any relaxation of vegetation management protection.
We support the removal of exemptions and implementation of provisions to prevent clearing and logging of remnant and regrowth of high value for soil, water and biodiversity conservation, and introduction of bio-carbon incentives for protecting other vegetation.
Currently exempt activities such as mining, extractive industries; forestry and urban (and peri-urban) development should be included in any provisions to tighten the VMA
Climate safe and resilient Communities
With worsening droughts, more flooding and more severe storms likely in the future, government must continue funding for communities threatened by climate change impacts now and into the future.
Identify inappropriate existing and planned future development and prohibit it.
Inform all sectors on climate change impacts and support mitigation and adaptation measures.
Advise state agencies and local government on climate impacted vulnerable lands and their legal liabilities in this regard, and provide funding for community-based adaptation measures and additional support for emergency services.
Put a greater focus upon the protection and restoration of natural landscapes, as a means of protecting the community from extreme weather events.